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Sportster Motorcycle Suspension, Frame, Forks, Handlebars, Fuel Tank, Oil Tank, Fenders Discuss Sportster Motorcycle Suspension, Frame, Forks, Handlebars, Fuel Tank, Oil Tank, Fenders problems, advice, and/or how tos.

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  #31  
Old 22nd September 2007
XLFREAK XLFREAK is offline
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going to the 5wt. was such a disappointment although i only used 11ozs which may have been the problem,,maybe I should have added more oil instead....if I measure the oil level compressed and empty then add the new,higher volume springs than I'm still wrong.....when I used the 15wt. with 12.3 ozs it was very stiff and had a sluggish reaction feel, which thinking back really made it handle well in aggressive riding except for the jarring ride. when I get my front brakes working, I'll ride it a couple days and evaluate the new settings......
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  #32  
Old 22nd September 2007
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The sluggish feel was due to the viscosity of the oil being too high. The speed at which the wheel can move up and down (compression and extension) is drastically reduced with the thicker viscosity. Which pours out of a bottle faster, molassas or water? Same thing with forks.

Unfortunately, the way of the suspension beast is it takes doing the wrong thing 4 times to learn the 1 thing that works.
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  #33  
Old 23rd September 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XLXR View Post
Good work. Good information.

However, I don't think you need to actually convert the Nightster forks to Roadster forks to get an increase in travel. I only have the 06 manual, so I can't be sure. But I think what you are referring to as the "damper spring", in my book is called the "rebound spring." It is a spring about 1 inch long that keeps the fork tubes from hitting metal to metal when the forks fully extend.

I think the "spacer ring" does the same thing that lowering springs do in the after market fork lowering kits. It basically adds length to the rebound spring to lower the forks by pulling the upper fork down into the lower fork. It is hard to explain, but if you take apart the forks, it is easy to understand.

So, I think if you simply take out the "spacer ring", the forks will raise by whatever its length is. If the spacer is 2 inches long and you only want to raise the forks 1 inch, replace the spacer with a 1 inch long rebound spring.

Another question that needs to be answered is if the damper tubes are the same length, or is the difference due to the holes for compression and rebound dampening being different?

Make sense?

EDIT:Since looking at 06 and 07 fork parts manual, I have no idea if it is possible to convert Nightster forks to Roadster forks, or how much you can increase travel in the Nightster forks. If you try this, you will be the first that I know of to try.
I misspoke, when I wrote damper spring I should have wrote fork spring and the spacer is not unique to the N, just has a different P/N, there is a spacer shown for all models except for the 883L? The spacer or " damper tube ring" is between the fork spring and damper tube, N P/N 45462-07. All others, except 883L P/N 45460-90. EDIT!!! I am all wet on this, these are not spacers they are the rings that fit on the damper tubes and do not fit between the damper tube and fork spring

I assume the damper tube is what the bottom screw attaches to and is basically the stop between the slider tube and slider spring "rebound spring", if not how is full extension controlled?

In the parts manual exploded view it "appears" that the damper tube for all models except the N and 883L/1200L is longer. P/N All except N/883L/1200L 45925-04 w/45460-90. 1200L 45938-92(uses different P/N?). 883L 47313-07. N 47313-07 w/45462-87. Maybe you could increase the travel with replacing the damper tube, but I don't think you can find the right(out of the box) fork spring to properly set up the fork?

If I were to switch over to the R set up I should only need to get the slider tubes and damper tube ring and then get the damper tubes and fork springs from progressive. If I use the progressive lowering spring kit and lower it 1" my fork gaiters should still fit and I gain 1" of travel, not sure if is worth the trouble, but an inch is an inch?
CB
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Last edited by cbnightster; 24th September 2007 at 01:25.. Reason: Mistake on parts assembly.
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  #34  
Old 23rd September 2007
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What weight fork oil comes in the N from the factory? CB
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  #35  
Old 23rd September 2007
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Quote:
I assume the damper tube is what the bottom screw attaches to and is basically the stop between the slider tube and slider spring "rebound spring", if not how is full extension controlled?
I think you think that you are thinking correctly here. Think so?

I also think you think what you are thinking about the other things you are thinking about are the correct things to think. I think.

But I don't think you should make any assumptions about exchanging the parts you want to exchange because maybe they will exchange and maybe they won't exchange. The only way to tell for sure is to get the parts and try to exchange them, or to be on the safe side, convince a buddy of yours to try it first. You're breaking new ground here.
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  #36  
Old 23rd September 2007
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Here is a thread that answers that question, but I have no independent confimation to offer.

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  #37  
Old 23rd September 2007
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I think that you think that I am thinking too much about what I would like to do, ya think?

Just wanted to correct my previous post and started thinking out loud with my fingers. Your absolutely right that you need to compare parts in order to come to any conclusion, but I don't have the resources to buy all the parts to compare. However, maybe someone else has had the forks apart on different models and could verify what I was THINKING about? It never hurts to throw thoughts out to get others to confirm or dispel your thoughts. The only dumb question is the one you don't ask.
CB
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  #38  
Old 23rd September 2007
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Cool Progressive fork springs

I'm surprised XLXR didn't beat me to this as I've been bugging him all day today.

Here's the story:
-just installed 418 heavy duty 13.5 " shocks and the long progressive fork springs with 2 " pre-load spacers-top of spacer 1/2" above the top of the threads. I left the SE fork oil in the forks so I was only changing 1 factor at a time. I had the shocks on the lowest pre-load and had cranked the rebound to the #2 position.
Result-too stiff front and rear.

- at XLXR's suggestion, I drained the SE oil (20 WT) and measured the fork mov't from full compression to full extension-4 3/8" total travel

- added 13 oz of 5 wt Amsoil- total fork travel-1 3/4" travel-topping out over fast stiff speed bumps-way too schitzy
- took out 1/2 oz (12.5 oz left)-total travel-2 7/8" travel
- took out 1/2 oz (12 oz left)-total travel- 3 1/8" travel-ride is getting better
- took out another 12 cc (.4 oz)(11.6 oz left)- 3 3/8" total travel (out of a possible 4 3/8"-leaving 1 " in case I hit something really bone-jarring) rides like a cadillac over rolling type speed bumps and dips, stiffer on the hard bumps.

Shocks now are not acting too stiff-in fact may be bottoming out on hard dips, but my butt suspension gauge has been overloaded today and may not be accurate. I'll withhold judgement till another day before making any further shock pre-load or dampening adjustments.

I'm going to have to ride it in the twisties before I change the fork oil anymore. I may try 10 wt (at various levels) next.

I can't believe how much difference 1/2 oz of fork oil made in the feeling of the forks AND THE SHOCKS. XLXR said changing the fork dynamics would make a difference in the shock feel, but I didn't want to read every thread to find out why.

I bumped the bars at 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 85 MPH-no wobble

Can't thank Xena for the breaker bar method of replacing fork caps. Using the JP cycles 1 3/8" fork cap socket, a 5 " extension, and an 18" breaker bar, removing the caps, adjusting the oil level, and re-installing the caps is a 5 minute (yes I said 5 minutes) job!! YEAH XENA!!!

I'll report back once I've tried it in the corners.
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  #39  
Old 23rd September 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doxbike View Post
I can't believe how much difference 1/2 oz of fork oil made in the feeling of the forks AND THE SHOCKS. XLXR said changing the fork dynamics would make a difference in the shock feel...
I found similar results on my 2007 Low. Added 2 oz on each side and found that was too much. Took one oz back out on each side and was happy. I also added a 1/4" spacer to get rider sag closer to 1/3 of the available travel. I really need about 1/2" spacer but I was having trouble getting the spring back in at 1/4" so I settled with 1/4". My rider sag is right at 1.25" measured at the fork. I am using right at 3" of the front total fork travel.

Far better ride in all situations. I weigh about 200#

AW
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  #40  
Old 23rd September 2007
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Doxbike weighs 230 lb and has a 07 Roadster. Note he is using the 5w oil, but with the standard holes in the damper tube. (The compression damping holes in my damper tube are drilled to 1/4", which is why I use 10w). The actual amount of oil needed in the forks will vary, and will depend on whether you put the progressively wound part of the spring down below the oil level or not. The more coils under the oil, the less oil you will need. I have the Works Dual Rate spring kit in my forks. It has two springs in it, both are single rate springs. That is probably why I needed more oil that he did.

Note how he started off measuring the total amount of fork travel and reduced the amount of oil in the forks until he got the travel he wanted. I would recommend he take out a bit more oil to closer to the 4 inches of travel and leave around 3/8 inch or less of travel for the big bumps, but he will find that point by road testing.

Another sign of too much fork fluid and indicates you should lower the oil level a bit is if the fork fluid starts seeping beyond the seal.

Last edited by XLXR; 23rd September 2007 at 22:16..
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